Public sector needs to work with experienced founders to develop the startup ecosystem: MAGNiTT CEO

Written by Hamza Zakir ·  1 min read >

n a recent podcast conducted by Karavan VC’s Amad Mian and CEO of MAGNITT Philip Bahoshy, Pakistan’s fairly new yet exciting startup ecosystem was discussed in great depth. Philip discussed MAGNITT’s outlook of Pakistan, how the country compares to other regional ecosystems in the Middle East and North Africa, what it can learn from them, and much more. Here are some key takeaways from Amad and Philip’s discussion.

To start with, there is a lack of transparency and legal information on how an international startup can penetrate the Pakistani market and set itself up here. The entry of international startups is, of course, crucial for the overall health and growth of our own local startup ecosystem as it allows us to learn from what has worked abroad.

Moreover, a sense of clarity with respect to our startup ecosystem is lacking. For instance, the government hasn’t looked at legal entities, safe agreements, and other vital aspects of a healthy startup environment. Amad and Philip realize that conversations on these matters are certainly taking place, but it will take time for people to become more aware of them.

It was also agreed that Pakistan could learn quite a bit from startup ecosystems present in Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries, especially if it wants to bring in people from outside markets. Once we gain a solid understanding of MENA and other markets that have experienced a burst of startup activity, we can understand what pain points need to be addressed and how they can be solved.

The two experts touched upon the role of experienced founders in the startup ecosystem as well, and it was agreed that while politicians continue to create policies and legal frameworks to promote the growth of startups, it was only going to be effective with experienced founders and leaders at the helm of those startups. Philip recommended that the public sector work with experienced founders to help define startup policies.

Finally, it was realized that one of the biggest advantages that Pakistan has is in terms of its population and the fact that it has single government, thus entrepreneurs only need to deal with a single entity to help solve issues. However, MENA involves a total of 17 regulators, 17 governments, and a host of different legal frameworks. If Pakistan wants to become a significant part of MENA, it will have to address the challenge of dealing with all these different entities.

Written by Hamza Zakir
Platonist. Humanist. Unusually edgy sometimes. Profile